Lehigh's Community Service Office plans various activities for students to become involved with the greater Bethlehem area. On Feb. 23, the CSO held bowling event with Broughal Middle School, in which 30 students were paired with CSO volunteers to bowl together. (Andrew Garrison/B&W Staff)

Lessons at the lanes: students tutor and bowl with local middle schoolers

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The Community Service Office united Lehigh students and South Bethlehem middle schoolers with Broughal Bowling, a tutoring and bowling event Feb. 23.

CSO student coordinator Delilah Hsu, ’19, said approximately 30 Broughal Middle School students were individually paired with Lehigh student volunteers for the event.

Broughal students completed math packets with their Lehigh tutors. The packets offered practice in skills, such as fractions and percentages, which are relevant to calculating bowling scores.

Volunteers met Broughal students at the middle school and traveled to Town and Country Lanes in Bethlehem. The event is held once or twice each semester and lasts for about four hours.

“(Broughal Bowling is) a good opportunity to hang out with them and also help them realize how important skills like math are, as well as helping them with social skills,” Hsu said.

Eden Weinflash, ’17, said Lehigh students cherish the event because of the connections they make with Broughal students. She said many of the volunteers for the event also participate in the CSO tutoring program.

“They see the kids a lot of the time in an academic environment,” Weinflash said. “Even though we have this academic aspect of the math packet, the kids are still able to let loose and have fun.”

Rachel Son, ’19, said she heard about the community service event through her sorority. She said she had participated in other community service events before, but she liked how this one allowed her to directly work with the kids.

Son said she was able to help her student improve her math skills while enjoying the start to the weekend at the bowling alley.

“My favorite part (of the trip) was just getting to know my buddy more,” Son said. “She told me a lot about her family and how she really enjoys school, so it was nice just talking one-on-one.”

Son said events like Broughal Bowling help close the gap between the South Bethlehem and Lehigh communities and foster more unity.

“The better connection we have with the South Bethlehem community, the more respect we’ll get from the South Bethlehem community,” Son said. “We won’t have a stigma between what South Bethlehem is and what we think it is if we collaborate with them, work with them and do more volunteer experiences with them.”

Hsu and Weinflash said they agree creating events to connect Lehigh students and faculty to South Bethlehem is important to the community.

The CSO hosts other events with Broughal and other South Bethlehem schools, such as Spooktacular and Spring Fling, to bring local families and the Lehigh community together for games, food and fun.

“We are essentially one community,” Weinflash said. “People think of us as two separate groups of people. Even though our demographics are relatively different, we do live together. We should be able to interact and get to know one another, especially on a one-to-one level like how Lehigh volunteers get to know the Broughal kids.”

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